Almost everyone wants a little extra height to their stature. Unfortunately genetics plays an integral role in how tall we become. If you come from a long line of short people, don't feign shock when your dreams of becoming an NBA center don't come to fruition. This doesn't mean nature and genetics are unstoppable. Take several proactive steps, including the implementation of new diet and exercise regimens, to help increase your height over time. Body elongating exercises also add height for those past puberty.
Eat a diet rich in protein, calcium and amino acids. These nutrients promote strong bones and muscles which, in turn, promote growth. A diet low in these essential nutrients can actually inhibit your natural growth pattern and keep you shorter. Vitamin supplements also help ensure you receive a sufficient amount of nutrients to aid growth.
Exercise on a regular basis to increase muscle strength. Exercise also promotes height-enhancing hormones within the body. A combination of aerobic exercise (i.e. running, biking) and anaerobic exercises (i.e. weight lifting) speeds up the growth process.
Stretch your body on a regular basis. For those in or entering puberty, stretching has many of the same beneficial effects as exercise. For those well-past puberty, stretching improves posture and stance. Improved posture elongates the height you already have. This increases your height without actually having to grow.
Consult your doctor about height-increasing drugs or surgical procedures. Consider these alternatives if your genetics predispose you to a well-below-normal height. Drug and surgical procedures are usually not considered by individuals of an average height looking to add an inch or two.